Have you ever watched ants? As a child it was one of my favorite outdoor activities. Seriously. I’d often find myself watching them for minutes at a time. One day I realized that they all always followed the exact same pattern. Every. Little. Twist. It really is amazing. I like ants. Of all the insects they are my favorite. It’s almost as if I have some time of insect affinity toward them.
Sheep follow the one before them, but sheep are stupid. If one sheep jumps off a cliff, they all jump off a cliff. Ants aren’t like that. Ants are very smart. The ants send out one little forager (hunter, gatherer, grocery shopper) and if that little cutie finds food on the way back home he leaves a trail of pheromones (a chemical that leads to attraction within the same species). The ant then goes back into the colony and tells everyone, “HEY FREE SUGAR IN THE PANTRY!” All the other shoppers come and follow the scent to the direct site of the food. That is unless the pheromone path (and any ants on the floor at the time) is destroyed by something like…vinegar.
Vinegar is awesome. It has so many uses. Like killing ants that go into your pantry for free sugar. We had a visitor in the Spring that so gracefully spilled our sugar on the floor. I was actually really cool about it. How was she to know that my sugar container cover was going to come off as she was trying to put the sugar away? I cleaned it all up and she graciously informed me that I would have ants this summer. I doubted it, cause I’m a pro at cleaning up spilled sugar. Well, okay. I wasn’t a pro until after the third time in a month sugar was spilled in my pantry. The second and third times were by my dear hubby.
His first time I rolled my eyes at him. I know he didn’t know about the sugar, but maybe I wanted to roll my eyes the first time, but chose to be a polite hostess. The third time it happened I lost it. We had people over and I kind of growled out loud. By that time I knew I would get ants. And sure enough, Saturday, when we came home from a very long and very early meeting there were ants going into my pantry for free sugar.
I didn’t hate the ants. I just peacefully broke out my spray bottle full of vinegar and laughed gleefully as I sniped the little boogers. It was only fun because I had to defend my pantry, not because I hate them. They really are cute. Not like roaches or mosquitoes. After I wiped the floor down…again, I returned to the kitchen to assess the problem. That’s when I was reminded of how the ants follow the same path.
The ants would emerge from their home-in-the-wall and begin to follow the same path, but would stop, turn around and go into their home. Every ant that followed did the same thing. The exact. Same. Path. Isn’t that something?
I think I could learn a lot from all of this situation. I have thoughts that should lead to learning. It isn’t just story about ants. Sin is kind of like those ants. It’s cute until it gets inside your house. Hate sin, not ants. But quickly and gleefully snipe the little booger (sin) before it infiltrates every nook and cranny.
I wonder what life would be like if I followed the exact same path? I guess it’s really a question of being persistent and consistent. And as in the case of the ant, it doesn’t hurt to have some unseen force leaving a trail to guide the way.
“He guides me in paths of righteousness…”